Hollywood Stars, Media Titans and Business Leaders Featured at Top-Rated Nickelodeon's 2009 Upfront Presentation to the Advertising Community in NYC

Mar 12, 2009
By ViacomCBS Staff

Nickelodeon Unveils Bigger and Bolder Partnerships and Strategies Highlighted with Special Appearances by Slumdog Millionaire's Dev Patel, Acclaimed Motion Picture Producer Kathleen Kennedy, New TEENick "Chairman" Nick Cannon, Tornante Co.'s Michael Eisner, Viacom CEO Philippe Dauman, MTVN Chairman Judy McGrath, Walmart's Dottie Mattison, and Nick Star Keke Palmer

*Art Available Upon Request

Hosted by Nickelodeon President Cyma Zarghami--and featuring appearances by numerous Hollywood stars, and media and business titans, including Oscar®-winning Slumdog Millionaire star, Dev Patel, and Tornante Co.'s Michael Eisner--the 2009 Nickelodeon Upfront presentation at New York City's Hammerstein Ballroom today previewed bold and innovative new programming initiatives for kids, teens and families. Included in the presentation was: a forthcoming new live-action feature film; key new business partnerships; and the network's plans to serve its audiences by connecting all of its platforms under the Nickelodeon umbrella. In 2009, Nickelodeon is entering its 30th year and is poised to record its unprecedented 15th straight year as the top-rated network in basic cable.

"We're bringing innovation to every audience segment with bold new content for all ages," said Zarghami. "Nickelodeon just keeps getting bigger and bolder, moving into spaces we've never been before. With a proven thirty-year track record, we're more qualified than ever to wrap our arms around this current generation of kids and the first generation of Nick families to better serve our audience and partners."

During the 60 minute presentation, acclaimed film producer and executive producer of Paramount Pictures' and Nickelodeon Movies' upcoming film, The Last Airbender, Kathleen Kennedy introduced a never-before-seen pre-viz of the upcoming film and Academy Award-winner, Dev Patel, who has been cast in the role of the Fire Nation Lord Prince Zuko. Tornante Company's Michael Eisner provided a first-look at the upcoming new Nick at Nite comedy series, Glenn Martin, DDS. Walmart Senior Vice President/General Manager of Apparel, Dottie Mattison, gave details of Walmart and Nickelodeon's SpongeBob SquarePants 10th Anniversary celebration. Nickelodeon's latest star, Keke Palmer, presented her new hit series, True Jackson, VP. And Nick Cannon was introduced as the Honorary Chairman of Nickelodeon's tween/teen-targeted channel, The N (which will be renamed TEENick in the fall), and highlighted his first project titled The Halo Awards. Capping the event was a musical performance from recording artists Colbie Caillat and Wyclef Jean, who performed "Here Comes the Sun," "Bubbly" and Sweetest Girl."

"Nickelodeon's reach into the family is ever-growing," commented Mattison. "The creative content they produce resonates across all ages and translates into mainstream products we believe in, so we're excited to be partnering on SpongeBob."

"Nickelodeon has been supportive of Glenn Martin, DDS every step of the way," said Eisner. "Cyma Zarghami and her team have compiled an impressive line up of quality family programming this year and we are excited to unveil Tornante's first animated production shoulder to shoulder with these great shows."

"By serving as Honorary Chairman of TEENick, I'm bringing ideas for more shows and authentic ways to connect with the audience," said Cannon. "I grew up at Nickelodeon and am so excited to be an integral part of TEENick."

Nickelodeon's 2009 Upfront presentation was held two weeks before the end of first quarter, as the brand advanced its number-one position with a significant advantage over competitors. For the quarter-to-date (12/29/08-3/10/09), Nickelodeon owns 45% of all K2-11 share of viewing among the three major kids nets in total day, and controls more than 63% of the gross ratings points (GRPs) in the marketplace. Nickelodeon placed 20 of the top 20 programs among kids 2-11, 6-11, tweens 9-14 and teens 12-17 for first quarter-to-date, and holds the number-one position on Saturday mornings by 81% with kids 2-11, 74% with kids 6-11, 77% with tweens 9-14 and 78% with teens 12-17. Nick holds a +588% K2-11 lead over its closet broadcast network competitor and a +679% lead with K6-11 (source: Nielsen Media Research-kids type programming only during each network's total day data. Based on live viewing only - 12/29/08-2/15/09).

Nickelodeon's 1Q 2009 to date performance will mark its 56th consecutive quarter as basic cable's top total day network for kids, tweens and total viewers --the longest run of its kind. Nick tops with kids 2-11, averaging a 3.5/1.2 million K2-11, and total viewers, averaging a 2.2 million P2+ and beating its nearest competitor by +40% (source: Nielsen Media Research 12/29/08-3/8/09).

Nickelodeon also highlighted its plans to add seven new series to its already top-notch roster of hits that currently include number-one ranked SpongeBob SquarePants and iCarly, as of 2009 to-date. The new series run the range of live action and animated shows, TV movies and game shows, super-serving preschoolers, kids, tweens, teens and families. There will be forthcoming announcements with details of these new shows in the next few months.

As Nickelodeon enters its landmark 30th anniversary year, the network will unify the TV channels (NOGGIN, The N, Nicktoons Network) and websites (Nick.com, Neopets, AddictingGames, among others) from its top-ranked portfolio under the single, globally recognized brand "Nickelodeon"--beginning 4Q 2009. This philosophy of "one brand" signals Nickelodeon's continued move toward serving the whole family through TV, online, consumer products, recreation and theatricals, as well as heightening its ability to seamlessly navigate audiences across its targeted entertainment platforms.

"Consolidating the brands across our portfolio and bringing them together under the single Nickelodeon umbrella reinforces our leadership in the marketplace as a global brand serving the whole family, with kids always at the center," added Zarghami. "'One brand' allows our audiences to easily find the content they want across all of our screens, and it anticipates the platform agnostic media environment and single currency that the audience and our industry are moving toward."

NOGGIN will be renamed Nick Jr., retaining its quality schedule of commercial-free, preschool-focused programming. The N assumes the name TEENick and will further develop and deliver on its mission of serving teens and tweens through programming reflecting the breadth and depth of 'teen-dom'. Nicktoons Network retains its name while continuing to organically grow its boy 6-11 audience through hit, action-oriented animated programming. Also, Nick.com will expand to become a hub for Nickelodeon's entire digital network of properties and brands, and will continue to serve as the leading content destination for kids.

Nickelodeon, now in its 30th year, is the number-one entertainment brand for kids. It has built a diverse, global business by putting kids first in everything it does. The company includes television programming and production in the United States and around the world, plus consumer products online, recreation, books, magazines and feature films. Nickelodeon's U.S. television network is seen in more than 98 million households and has been the number-one-rated basic cable network for 14 consecutive years. For more information or artwork, visit http://www.nickpress.com. Nickelodeon and all related titles, characters and logos are trademarks of Viacom Inc. (NYSE: VIA, VIA.B).

Web Site: http://www.nickpress.com/

Joanna Roses,
Joanna.Roses@nick.com, or
Marianne Romano,